Each spring Grace Church in Ashland, Ohio, hosts an event for seniors called North of 55. The goal is to inspire and equip older generations to invest well in younger generations. This one-day event is hosted and organized by Grace but is open to all Charis Fellowship churches, especially in the northeast Ohio and northcentral Ohio districts.
In March, 85 people attended North of 55 at Grace Church. The theme for the day was “Releasing the Generations” for missional work and focused not only on older generations releasing the younger generations, but also the younger ones releasing the older ones.
Dan Jackson, pastor of global impact and care at Grace, said, “A number of us are older and realizing we need to be willing to go, but our kids and grandkids also need to be willing to release us to go.”
Mike Yoder, Encompass World Partners executive director-elect, was the keynote speaker for the day. Mike led two sessions, the first laying the groundwork for a discussion on missions, and the second focusing on intergenerational relationships.
“North of 55 represents a creative and targeted way to inspire (older) generations to Great Commission involvement — praying, giving, sending, welcoming, and going,” Mike said. “What a privilege it was for me to address that group at Ashland Grace, focusing on the possibilities and pitfalls for people in that life stage as well as the young adults in their relational spheres.”
Both sessions included a time of prayer and musical worship. The group also enjoyed a catered lunch and participated in workshops on financial stewardship, retirement, the value of intergenerational relationships, and an open conversation for hurting or wounded parents.
Mike said, “I’m praying that God would unite the hearts of older and younger alike and fan into flame a determined commitment to playing a significant role in taking the Gospel to the nations. May initiatives like this be multiplied in our Charis churches!”